Free Practice Sessions Quotes
Gabriele Gardel - nr 1 BMS Scuderia Italia Ferrari 550 Maranello : "It was a really good day. We tried a set-up for rain earlier today and later went on with the set-up for the dry track, trying to see if it's possible to come up with a car that's fast in both the wet and the dry. We'll go back to the normal qualifying set-up now to be as fast as we can, and then we'll see for the race. We will push very hard for the six hours to get as many points as possible, and again for the 12 hours - and after that, there's a question mark. But the car has been very good, and the team is competitive, so I'm very positive."
Fabrizio Gollin - nr 2 BMS Scuderia Ferrari 550 Maranello : "We tried a new rear wing and various new aerodynamic parts today. They did a good job with that and the tyres are very constant, so I'm quite happy. It's going to be difficult to find a clean lap in qualifying because there will be so many drivers on track. But that's a general problem; everyone will have to deal with that. It should be possible to qualify within the top six, but it's not really important for the race, merely for our reputation!"
Lilian Bryner - nr 3 Care Racing Ferrari 550 Maranello : "We're still in the process of setting the car up for the race. Everything looks fine at the moment. We'll continue working on the race set-up in the second free practice session. Depending on how we get on today and what parts need to be changed, we might not go out tomorrow. We'll try and play it safe, not pushing too hard during the first couple of laps in the race. It's a long distance, and we want to see the chequered flag!"
Toni Seiler - nr 4 Konrad Motorsport Saleen S7 : "Things are going well, but the car is not quite how we want it yet, so we're still working at the set-up. Hopefully, we'll manage that during the day, so the car will be quick in qualifying."
Eric Van de Poele - nr 5 Vitaphone Racing Team Saleen S7 : "It's great to be back with Vitaphone and to take part in this race with a competitive car. We had a little problem this morning, but we solved that and now everything is working perfectly! I just did a couple of laps this morning to get started with the car. Uwe [Alzen] is going to qualify; and then I'll get some more track time tomorrow. "
Tommy Erdos - nr 7 RML Saleen S7 : " This morning was good. We came here a bit behind the ball, as we missed the test day, so it was good to get the car up towards the front immediately. But there are a lot of things we want to try. I think we will make a good team with the four of us. There are lots of cars with four good drivers, but that can go against you, if they all push too hard. We're quite happy."
Arjan van der Zwaan - nr 9 Zwaan's Racing Chrysler Viper GTS : "We are checking to see if we can drive this evening. In the free practice, there was something wrong with the throttle, which stayed down when it should have gone up. The car can goes up to 200 km on that section, and the gravel could not stop it fast enough. But remember, two years ago Christophe Bouchut did something similar in free practice, and he went on to win the race ! So you never know !"
Alex Mueller - nr 17 JMB Racing Ferrari 575 M Maranello : "The free practice sessions were quite good. I had one run in the last session, and I'm very happy with the car. We're just getting to know each other since it's the first time we've been racing together, but it's a professional, competitive team and I'm very positive about this race!"
Pierre Yves Corthals - nr 17 JMB Racing Ferrari 575 M Maranello : "I've never driven this type of car before as I'm usually driving touring cars. The Ferrari is much heavier, and that's showing in the handling, particularly during breaking and when it enters the corners. So at the moment, I'm still learning. But it's been going really well so far. I've finished three times third here at Spa - this year, I hope I can win!"
Jamie Campbell-Walter - nr 27 Creation Autosportif Lister Storm : "We managed to get all drivers in the car during the first session. It's important that all of us can do some laps - particularly Jamie [Derbyshire] and Peter [Snowdon], our new drivers. The car is going very well. But we don't want to set the world alight in qualifying. We are concentrating on the race !"
Stéphane Ortelli - nr 50 Freisinger Yukos Motorsport Porsche 996 GT3-RS : "We still have to make some adjustments with the set-up. The car is not as good now as it was at the test day. There's not a lot of grip, and we will have to find a way to work around that. We're in positions one and two with the Porsches after free practice, but I think Ferrari might be hiding something for later-on in qualifying..."
Fabrizio De Simone - nr 62 GPC Ferrari 360 Modena : "It's going well, I'm quite happy. The car is well balanced and we have worked well today. We'll see how it goes in the night tonight, but I think we are going in the right direction. I think the fastest qualifying times will be set this evening between the end of the first and the start of the second night sessions - it will be too hot tomorrow."
Christian Ried - nr 69 Proton Competition Porsche 996 : "We don't have quite the right set-up for the race yet. There's some understeer in the slow corners, which we'll have to get rid of. Apart from that, we're happy with the car. We'll change the engine / gearbox tomorrow morning and will do a few installation laps with the new parts in free practice."
Mike Jordan - nr 71 JWR Porsche 996 : "It's been a really good day. We've been trying out different set-ups. Rather than aim for high-speed to qualify, we're trying to have a good, comfortable car for the race. During the test day, the car was great, and it's not been quite as good today, but I think there are only the two Freisinger cars and the Ferrari in front of us in the N-GT classification - and that's all we can hope for! After all, we're driving an old car - it's the 2000 car in fact."
Alex Caffi - nr 75 Seikel Motorsport Porsche 996 : "We weren't here for the test day, so this is the first day here for us since last year. The car is basically the same. There haven't been any major problems. We've lost some time with the set-up because we're on a different tyre compound this time. But overall, I'm quite happy. Now we will wait and see what's going to happen during the night. In any case, I think it will probably be the third qualifying tomorrow that will be the quickest."
Sascha Maassen - nr 99 Freisinger Motorsport Porsche 996 GT3-RS : "So far, everything is going well. The only problem we have is that we've been a lot faster at the test day. The temperatures have risen significantly since that, and the times have dropped. But I suppose that's the same for every team."
Marc Goossens - nr 108 Renstal Excelsior Chevrolet Corvette C5-R: "I don't think we are fast enough to beat the Ferraris or the Saleens. With the new asphalt, we are not yet sure how the car is reacting to it, as we did not do the test day in these conditions. But it is going OK, the car is relatively easy to drive. The guys are all doing the same times; I am slightly ahead of them as I am used to the car. But we are all pretty happy with it. The car has proven that it is reliable. Our ambition is not to get pole position - we want to be there at the end of the 24 hours."
Peter Wyss - nr 123 Mühlner Motorsport Porsche 996 : "Our speed in free practice was quite good - especially if you consider that we've been struggling with a gear box problem all day. We will open the gearbox and work on that tomorrow. Hopefully, it won't cause too many difficulties in qualifying, but we have to solve the problem before the race. And when it comes down to it, it's better to have a problem now than in the race."
Dirk Müller - nr 142 BMW Motorsport BMW M3 GTR : "I'm enjoying driving the GT car again - I know it very well from America, and after the victory in the 24 Hours of the Nürburgring. But with the new surface, it's completely different. We were the first to try out the asphalt during the test day, and there was massive grip, but that has gone now. We will be going out right away to qualify, as we want to get everything done today, so we can concentrate on the FIA ETCC tomorrow. I hope it will not be difficult to swap between the two cars, but there are significant differences between them. Still, we are professionals, and we should be able to cope !"
Kurt Mollekens - nr 143 BMW Motorsport BMW M3 GTR : "This is workable. The schedule allows it. We can concentrate today on the GT, then on the ETCC tomorrow and on Saturday, we'll switch around 4 pm. Pedro will do the start. We are all doing similar times. On similar tyres, we are all within a couple of tenths of each other. I'm really looking forward to it - it should be good !"